About Face: People, Animals, and Mythical Beings in Islamic Art

Date(s) - Friday, May 5, 2017
All Day

Smith College Museum of Art

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Islamic art is known for exquisite calligraphy, geometric patterns, and floral designs. However, many of the artworks in this installation also feature images of people and animals.

Because some interpretations of Islam’s sacred text—the Qur’an—oppose the drawing and painting of living beings, figuration may not be expected in Islamic art. These interpretations are rooted in the belief in the singularity of God as the ultimate creator of life.

It is the non-devotional or secular nature of most of these objects that allows for more freedom to portray figures. However, faces and bodies are often represented in a stylized or non-realistic way.

We hope this exhibition provides a glimpse into the varied content of Islamic art.

—Ryleigh Swanson, Smith College ’19 and Alyina Zaidi, Mount Holyoke College ’17

Smith College Museum of Art Hours:

Tuesday through Saturday 10–4
Sunday 12–4
Second Fridays 10–8

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